The total economic impact of the Clelia II in the city is estimated at $600 000 to $650 000 in 2009 and while that seems incredulous for 12 days of visits as I have been publically challenged on, the reality is that cruise shipping delivers impacts far beyond the shore tour spending of each passenger.
In addition to admission to attractions, passengers shop in retail outlets such as local galleries, dine, take taxis or rent bicycles, Motor coaches are chartered to escort them to and from attractions and musical groups are hired to entertain disembarking passengers.
But the economic impact extends far further than just the passengers. Take into account that many of the vessel's 67 officers and crew depart the vessel to shop and pick up ships supplies like cleaners, paint, cooking utensils and food supplies. The vessel empties its refuse at Thunder Bay (one of the few ports capable of taking international ship waste), and companies that supply water, security services, tug and stevedore services are also employed by the vessel stops.
Add to this the planning, marketing and maintenance of the cruise vessel terminal, the capital improvements contracted out over the course of the year and the services of Customs, Immigration and Transport Canada officials. Crew members do change over while in Thunder Bay and they fly in and out of the city and stay at hotels.
On top of this is all of the federal and provincial sales taxes generated by the purchased services.
Finally, there is the multiplier effect. For every dollar generated in the city by the cruise vessel, those dollars recirculate within the community another .6 times as the businesses and employees of those businesses in turn, spend the money earned by providing services on other local goods and services.
When all of this is added together, the result is far more than the obvious visitor dollars. Its why the development of a long term cruise shipping strategy is so important to the city's economic future and why catering to the vessel owners, crews and passengers to the highest level of quality service is imperative.
Its been a lot of fun working with the Clelia's operators, crew and passengers and we've learned a lot about the cruise shipping industry and what they require to operate successfully and enjoy their time in the community. We can't wait to see them return to the City in 2010, to see the forward movement in the capital improvements at Marina Park and the investments being made to make them feel welcome for years to come.